calligraphy, desert landscapes, odd animal portraits

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And Howe

Back to Howe- my garage studio is getting a lot of use lately.  A kind of a miracle when the owner moved away and took the dog that had chosen me as her personal project, barking furiously and frantically at my presence.  In the move and subsequent upgrade of the back of the house, the electricity to the garage was disconnected-  Incredibly freeing once I removed all the various electrical devices: lamps, water boiler, heater, projector, a tuner and turntable and crate of LP’s I had just moved in.  All this STUFF was in the way of my practice.

First the chaos, then slowly putting things back together, leaner, not meaner.  Much more room now, and a big reorganization of frames, canvases, materials.  Lucky I am for the enormous south facing window, and knowing how to dress and work in the weather.

The owner left many cans of house paint for me to recycle, and I have been painting everything white- a step stool I found on the street and repaired.  I painted the dingy wall, and put nails up and down the studs in a grid to hang frames on.  I repaired and repainted the five frames I had built from scrap house trim for my apple illustrations– so fresh and excellent.  

Random Journaling

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I am doing a lot of brush practice, and bought a Portable Palette, and a couple of new colors to add to my Winsor Newton collection.  Sennelier Serpentine Genuine, M. Graham Magnesium blue, plus later I added a chrome green.  Still not completely happy with this selection.  Actually I am mostly using them to highlight and color passages in my written journal, but slowly, cautiously (why?) moving into sketchbook pages.  I have so many! nearly empty sketchbooks to fill, and so little motivation, ideas, gumption, whatever.

 

Kolam

Somehow became fascinated with the practice of drawing kolam- although I am using a Uniball signo white pen rather than rice flour.  Here are a few.

 

 

Canyon Winter

On the day of the big “Camp” fire in Paradise, we finished the deck in Canyon.  It was a spur-of-the-moment impulse a couple days earlier to abandon the idea of a building that would ruin the view from the little deck.  Realizing we now have sufficient, heatable indoor space, and the on-demand water heater, bathtub and shower situated outside, it no longer made sense.  Suddenly we were seeking and gathering boards from around the property, sanding them down and fitting them together somewhat at random.  The smell of smoke came in early on the morning of November 8, but a little research showed a brushfire near Joaquin Miller park.  Around noon a thicker wave came through, but we worked through it and finished attaching all the boards by early afternoon-  The smoke got thicker, and over a week later was so bad, funneled through the delta and trapped over the bay area, that N95 masks were required.

Moody Trees and Moon

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Widdershins

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Culinary Fiasco

Last Friday I came home to a dark digital clock- the whole electric circuit of kitchen wall outlets had gone out.  I unplugged the reachable appliances, excluding the post-rat digital/gas stove which is too heavy for me to move.  Flipping the breaker and GFI did not restore the power.  I am, as usual, loathe to call the landlord until I exhaust all possible, personal attempts to solve the puzzle.

Likely the problem is rat/raccoon damage in the wall, or a failure or short in the digital oven controls.  (It could also be a function of the apparently shoddy installation- but I don’t think that is the case.)  I looked up the owners manual for the Kenmore range-  almost impossible to read the tiny number on the door, which luckily turns out to be the model number.  Someone mentioned that there might be a reset button on the back of the unit, so we can look at that, too.

My neighbor, from whom i got the stove- another story- loaned/gave me an electric convection oven which I installed on the small enamel table with a heavy power cord strung around the corner from the bathroom GFI.

Today I got out my electric toolbox- turns out the continuity tester I had in there (it was Steve’s) is missing one leg, so into the electronic recycling bin it goes.  I pulled the 2 USB port/power outlet I installed last year which looks fine.   I am again shocked at how poorly the box is installed, jammed way back into the original wall, crooked, behind the layer of sheetrock.  It took some jiggling and adjusting to get the outlet mounted straight, but now it is better than I had it before.

Meanwhile, a couple of culinary fiascos, including two enormous potatoes that would not bake, after which I bought an adorable small magnet/hook/stand oven thermometer and tested the convection oven, right to 350 in ten minutes, then hovering at 300 throughout the baking of a Trader-Joe’s-mix cornbread–too sweet, but a somewhat-successful baking experiment.